Podcasting is all the rage these days and the trajectory of that trend is sure to watch it grow. However, what’s the point of creating a podcast if no one is listening, right? Sure, you could just do it for the love of the medium, but let’s be honest: you kinda want to create a podcast so that you can connect your ideas to other people so you can grow an audience. Well, here’s a quick, four-step plan to help you get on your way to podcast popularity!
Step 1: Decide on your podcast’s main concept and the style you want to present it
Sure, that seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed by how many folks decide to launch a podcast without a solid foundation of what it’s going to be about, or the style in which it’s presented. Sadly, those folks figure out rather quickly that foundational inconsistency is usually the hallmark of a failed podcast.
Podcasts that find success have their concept and style determined BEFORE they launch. The best way to do that is to think about the audience you want to engage. Why would they want to listen to your podcast and why would they care about it? If you want your podcast to be successful, you not only have to be entertaining, but you have to produce useful content. Think about the best method to get that content to your audience in a fresh way.
For example, there is the “Interview Method” where the host conducts an interview for each episode.
There’s also the “Location Based Method” where the podcast focuses on the location where it’s recorded (think about a “Foodie Podcast” that focused on a new restaurant every week, or a “Fishing Podcast” that focused on a new place to fish…)
The “Storytelling Method” is just how it sounds: each episode tells a part of a story, and each episode builds off of the last.
A “Teaching Method” focuses on teaching listeners about a specific topic.
There’s also a “Mixed Method” which combines a few of the methods above to create a unique, and fresh approach to a particular subject.
Step 2: Before Launch, Record at Least 3 Episodes
It’s important to keep in mind that your first 3 episodes are the foundation of your podcast. They provide a great link to reference back to by mentioning them in later episodes and linking back to them in the show notes. It’s a great way to keep from repeating yourself, and it provides a great way to build your rankings! If you’re referencing back to previous episodes, you give your listeners a reason to go back and download them and iTunes LOVES to see people consuming multiple episodes!
Step 3: Launch Your Podcast with a Contest
Don’t launch with just any contest, launch your podcast with a prize that speaks to the audience you’re trying to reach. Meaning, if you have a podcast about Dog Training, don’t give away an item like “dance classes.” Instead, perhaps your contest prize should instead be something like “Free Dog Grooming”. Launching your podcast with a contest will help you gain listeners, downloads, and ratings.
Also, don’t forget to ask friends and family, or members of your community to share your podcast content. Also, it never hurts to ask people to subscribe to and rate your podcast!
Step 4: Continue to Create a Buzz by Keeping a Schedule
Decide on a timeframe where you will consistently release new material and stick to it. For example, if you decide on publishing new episodes on Friday, make sure you stick to it. Supplement your schedule by sending out emails and social media interactions letting listeners and audiences know that they can expect new material that Friday. Give them hints on what the episode will be about. Keep the buzz for your podcast going!
And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t state that you shouldn’t give up. Make sure you stick to your plan and see it through. Many times people with new podcasts get discouraged if they don’t see the results they want in a week or two. However, if you keep to these four steps and don’t give up on your podcast, you’ll see results!